Thursday, May 7, 2020

Senate Holds Hearing on Unemployment Benefits (Streamed)

or bayoneting the wounded ;-)

Leftenent Governor Delbert Hosemann issued the following statement. The committee hearing is live-streamed below.

The Senate Economic and Workforce Development Committee will hold a hearing at 3 p.m. today, Wednesday, May 6, in Senate Room 216 at the Mississippi Capitol, centered on unemployment benefits.  Chairman David Parker and Vice Chairman Jeremy England will conduct the meeting.
The purpose of the hearing is to determine how the Mississippi Department of Employment Security is addressing delays and other problems related to receiving benefits and discuss how the State can avoid similar issues in the future.  The committee will also review the department’s immediate budgetary needs, if any.
The committee has asked Mississippi Department of Employment Security Executive Director Jackie Turner and several staff knowledgeable of the operations and budget to testify.



24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who are you trying to kid, Kingfish? No one at MDES will be punished for this disgraceful failure. They dont answer the phones or respond to emails. I can understand the phone situation, but not responding to an email?

Anonymous said...

PR stunt! MDES aren't going to change.

Anonymous said...

So the legislature cuts budgets for year leaving most agencies under staffed and with old computer systems. The legislature has committees oversee agencies but when it breaks its the agencies fault.

Anonymous said...


@5:45, you are exactly correct. This, like many others, is a underfunded and understaffed agency,
A product of the the legislature. With that said, it takes time to vent, hire, train, and set up employees to
Handle a job under normal conditions. But when you get a unforseable crisis of the magnitude the virus
Has caused, then u definitely have this problem. The agency and its workers are not the problem, they just
Don’t have the media access to blame it on others like the legislative leaders.

With that said, if I worked there I would probably have quit that agency long ago bc of the lack of support....
and when this crap storm happened, I would have walked out and got in line to draw my own benefits.
....These people have been handed a impossible task, without the right tools to even make a good attempt
to do it.

Blaming the workers at that agency is just sad!!

Anonymous said...

As a former employee mdes has a state of the art computer system. I helped implement it. What has happened anyone with any experience has left and all the management there now doesn't know what they are doing. When i was there hurricane katrina hit. We built a new online application in a week and built a massive call center. It was hard but people got paid. The place has suffered from poor management. I wouldnt be surprised if the governor fires everyone there.

Anonymous said...

7:31 is correct.

If anything, all of the "rank and file" employees at MDES deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It's not their fault the phones don't work.

It's the MDES "Executives" that need to go.

Ms.Turner and Mr Rush are two of the most goofy people in charge of any State Agency.
She couldn't answer 50 percent of the questions and giggled like a lil' cheerleader.

Mr. Timothy Rush was just as bad.

He couldn't answer any serious question without babbling about shit that made no sense to the average person. Sorry Mr. Rush, try to speak without using your agency's internal acronyms.










Anonymous said...

Unemployment benefits are bullshit. They ought to end the whole program.

People are more worried about running down to Orange Beach, deer camp, or a football game to even remotely manage their finances and plan properly. All of these safety nets have produced a society of cry babies who become more dependent on the government every day for everything!

Live within your means and tuck some money away, so when the next crisis hits (and there will be one), you'll have a backup plan instead of depending on MDES to answer the phone and praying for a "check".

And learn to tell your kids NO !

Anonymous said...

I'm a Democrat an for the most part I agree with you 9:15. But the "system" has failed and we have banks getting rich off pay day loan offices and businesses scamming employees by using staffing agencies. And then there's the Wells Fargo method of robbing customers, of course.

The system is rigged from top to bottom and guess which end did the rigging.

Anonymous said...

The heck with these comments. The employees are incompetent. Almost every single government employee is there because they aren’t qualified to work in the real world and it’s the only job they can get.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Turner either cannot or will not provide a direct answer when asked a question about MDES. She does talk in circles.

I’d be willing to bet a majority of the currently pending “Issues on File” for claimants could be resolved if MDES applied common sense in some of these situations requiring “investigation.” These are not normal claims. I realize they have to follow Department of Labor guidelines for much of what they do, but the MDES system for communicating with claimants is ineffective, inefficient, and a joke.

Anonymous said...

" bayoneting the wounded "

Perfect description Kingfish !

Anonymous said...

The IT system was designed to take only 25 applications at a time.

Disgraceful.

The IRS can take thousands.

ZOOM can take over 200,000 at a time to accept its site.

This is totally a programming issue.

Anonymous said...

The director was elevated far beyond her level of competence, simply because she's a 'lifer'. But, the next worse thing is putting a political hack in charge (i.e. Lynn Fitch and Linda Aldy and Les Strange) or someone whose demographics match a certain narrative.

This agency has complex, fine, technologically advanced equipment and computer systems. They've spent millions on program rewrites. Not answering telephones and not returning emails and not having at least a two-a-week live interface with the public are inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

When people are called back to work, advised that they can return and the job is available...but they refuse...and continue drawing their claim...with no work search requirement or agency follow-up...what then? How inefficient is that going to be?

MDES is as broke-down as an old gubment mule.

Anonymous said...

PR stunt. Of course it is a disaster when you send tens of thousands of applicants to a system that normally handles a tiny fraction of what is being asked of it. Should they have modernized long ago? Sure! Try to get two nickels out the legislature to do it. What did Congress think was going to happen by throwing millions of people at state bureaucracies?

But this is a waste of our legislature's time!

Soon to be ex-Republican said...

Good Gosh! MS Turner and Mr. Rush should be fired --- immediately. Both are incompetent and are not capable of leading this agency out of the swamp. Where teh hell was legislative oversight during Tate's eight years as Lt. Governor? And where the committee chairmen responsible for oversight --House and Senate? The big issue, however, is that they still don't have a clue of how badly this agency is screwed up and the working people of Mississippi are suffering as a result. Tate needs to take some action now and bring in a seasoned "fixer" executive immediately with the power to fix it.

It's a know fact that Mississippi under Boss Hog followed the lead of a number of Southern states and starved the unemployment agencies to protect the trust that is funded by businesses. All of this in the name of "economic development" and "a friendly business environment." Agency personnel -- at the director's orders -- threw roadblocks in the way of applicants. Rank-and file adgency personnel were less than helpful and rude to those who needed their services. and Mississippi's weekly befit was the lowest in the nation. Label this Republican compassion. and yes, I am currently a Republican and served on acounty executive committee. Bute I am seriously rethinking this.

Unknown said...

The staff with knowledge of unemployment law and policy have been run off in droves. Management does not support their staff and when they backfill positions they hire temp workers who are easily expendable. Training new employees on law and policy is non existent, they are only told what buttons to push. This is why questions cannot be answered through the call center.

Anonymous said...

10:19 - I've not read the first soul saying 'they could not answer my question', have you? Instead, we have hundreds of reports that the phone was never answered or my email never received a response. Can you see the difference?

I worked there for quite a while and actually believe it would all be handled more efficiently by the private sector, any of many private firms doing HR type work.

Someone posted that it 'takes time to vet and train workers. I have never known this agency to VET any applicant, check a background, run a criminal history or require a pre-employment drug screen. NEVER.

Anonymous said...

9:15 has the answer. It's the answer that built this country.

If you could talk with your aging parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and all before them, you'd get the same mindset.

Our country's going nuts!

Anonymous said...

8:40 PM said :

" What has happened anyone with any experience has left and all the management there now doesn't know what they are doing. When i was there hurricane katrina hit. We built a new online application in a week and built a massive call center. It was hard but people got paid. The place has suffered from poor management. I wouldnt be surprised if the governor fires everyone there ".

6:00 AM said :

"The director was elevated far beyond her level of competence, simply because she's a 'lifer'. But, the next worse thing is putting a political hack in charge (i.e. Lynn Fitch and Linda Aldy and Les Strange) or someone whose demographics match a certain narrative.

This agency has complex, fine, technologically advanced equipment and computer systems. They've spent millions on program rewrites. Not answering telephones and not returning emails and not having at least a two-a-week live interface with the public are inexcusable " .

Both of you are absolutely correct !

That's two of the best concise and accurate explanations about the very serious problems at Employment Security I've read.

The old Employment Security Commission was light years better than what we have now.
They had great executives, great supervisors, and the employees were proud to work at one the best state agencies. Not only was the MESC one of the best agencies in state government, they were also one of the best in the nation.

All of that ended when Governor Haley Barbour convinced the Legislature to dissolve the MESC and recreate it as the MDES. After that, all promotions and appointments had the appearance of repaying political debts or filling "quotas" rather than the ability of the individual.

Any experienced Unemployment Insurance veteran that objected to the clueless new MDES "executives"
were dismissed as not being team players.

Now we're seeing the results of those "executive" decisions.





Oral Interview said...

But, let's clear one thing up. This agency has always been federally funded, not funded by the Mississippi Legislature. That's why they operate on a federal fiscal year (October-September), not a state fiscal year (July-June).

Perfect example of a bureaucratic nightmare. The forerunners who built it all are spinning in their graves (and on their walkers).

Anonymous said...

" The forerunners who built it all are spinning in their graves "

That's an understatement !

The original agency was built by former high ranking military officers.
And the MESC functioned as precise as a military operation.

Now that agency ( MDES ) is a combination of election payoffs and political correctness.

Anonymous said...

The elephant in the room is people like Gunn, Digbarf and Tater professing to know the UI regulations when they do not. They do everybody a public disservice preaching from a text about which they know very little. It would help greatly if they'd stick with telling sixth graders how a bill becomes a law.

Anonymous said...

So true 7:58.

Of this Triumvirate, at least Tate has started to give measured answers to the press and refer them to Employment Security for specifics.

Not so with House and Senate.

Following the sound bites of Gun & Delbert, now we have every elected State Senator and Rep as overnight experts on UI regulations.

Hell, even after two months our Federal delegation has learned to shut up about things they know nothing about.

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